ICC may scrap tradition of coin toss from Test cricket

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by chandtara, May 17, 2018.

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  1. chandtara

    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    Test cricket's fundamental starting point may be scrapped, as the ICC's cricket committee prepares to debate whether or not the coin toss should be removed as a way of reducing home ground advantage in the looming Test Championship.

    Every single Test match since the very first, between Australia and England at the MCG in March 1877, has begun with a toss of the coin to decide who should bat or bowl first. The home captain flips the coin and the visiting captain calls heads or tails.

    However, there has been a growing body of opinion that home boards have manipulated conditions to suit their team, in turn adding a disproportionate level of importance to the toss. The proposed remedy is to abandon the coin toss for matches played as part of the Test Championship, to commence with Australia's Ashes tour of England in 2019, leaving the visiting side to elect whether to bat or bowl first.

    This would be an extension of the playing conditions now used in the English County Championship since the start of the 2016 season, whereby the visiting team can choose to bowl first, with a coin toss to follow if the captain is not fussed. According to briefing notes circulated ahead of the ICC cricket committee meeting at the end of May in Mumbai and seen by ESPNcricinfo:

    "There is serious concern about the current level of home team interference in Test pitch preparation, and more than one committee member believes that the toss should be automatically awarded to the visiting team in each match, although there are some others on the committee who do not share that view."

    One of the biggest champions of the concept was former Australia coach Darren Lehmann. He will be absent from the meeting as the representative of international coaches after resigning from his post in the wake of the Newlands ball-tampering fiasco. In his 2016 book, Coach, Lehmann was blunt about the scenario facing visiting Test teams.

    "The biggest challenge to the longest format, for me at least, comes not from Twenty20 but from the surfaces on which matches are being played," Lehmann wrote. "Put simply, those surfaces are either far too bland or, conversely, are far too heavily weighted in favour of the home side. In both instances, that does Test cricket no good at all. On the other hand, no one wants to see 600 plays 500 on pitches that offer the bowlers nothing. Producing tracks like that is the surest way to kill off the format.

    "My solution to ensure the best possible pitches is, at international level, to do away with the toss, with the visiting side given the option of whether they want to bat or bowl. That way the result is not decided by the toss of the coin, host boards have a greater incentive to produce decent pitches that are fair to both sides and the chances are that after five days the better side - rather than the one that has called correctly and thus been able to take advantage of favourable conditions - is the one what will come out on top."

    A new international coaches representative on the committee, which features Anil Kumble, Andrew Strauss, Mahela Jayawardene, Rahul Dravid, Tim May, the New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White, the umpire Richard Kettleborough, ICC match referees chief Ranjan Madugalle, Shaun Pollock and Clare Connor, will be decided before the May 28-29 meeting.

    Numerous others, including Ricky Ponting, Michael Holding, Ian Botham, Shane Warne and Steve Waugh, have also endorsed the idea. "The concerned authorities must look at what Ricky Ponting suggested - no more tosses," Holding wrote for Wisden India in 2015. "The minor setback there in my opinion, is that tosses are big for television. It makes for good tension, everyone is focused on that coin when it's in the air and the winning captain's decision and so on.

    "But that isn't relevant now, times have changed and interest is waning in Test match cricket. What you need to do now is to make sure you have even contests between bat and ball. For that, there should be no toss and the visiting captain should be allowed to decide what he wants to do after inspecting the pitch."

    Waugh, who as Australian captain from 1999 to 2004 did much to reduce the perceived influence of the coin toss by often sending opponents in to bat first in defiance of conventional wisdom, has argued the psychological effect could be significant. "I don't mind that, I think that's not such a bad thing," Waugh told SEN Radio in 2015. "At the end of the day I think there's probably too much emphasis placed on the toss and the conditions away from home. I don't mind the authorities looking at some other options."

    The English experiment in 2016 resulted in changes. The ECB reported 85% of matches went into a fourth day compared to 74% in 2015 - the highest percentage since 2009. The average score for the first innings was 332, slightly up from 325 in 2015. The average score for the second innings of a match was 343, up from 290 in 2015. A total of 843 wickets were taken by spin in 2016, up from 752 in 2015. Seventy-one of the 142 matches in both divisions were drawn, discounting two abandoned matches, meaning there was a positive result in the other 71 - whereas in 2015, there were 93 results and only 51 draws.

  2. Mohsin

    Mohsin Sultan of Swing

    Feb 21, 2010
    Yes, dont worry about the actual pitches themselves and dont try and do something as a body, to ensure good cricketing pitches are produced all around the world that has something in it for the bowlers to ensure a good balanced game (as opposed to flat beds)...just worry about the toss. Shabaash.
  3. Fireworks11

    Fireworks11 Kaptaan

    Sep 22, 2012
  4. Munna

    Munna Moderator-e-Aala

    Oct 4, 2014
    Good, next in line is any one visiting batsman will be allowed to take 2 baariyan :D
  5. iho

    iho Smooth Operator

    Aug 7, 2010
    I think this is coming from Australia and England as they struggle on spinning wickets in subcontinent. I heard some of their commie whining about it in one of the UAE series
  6. chandtara

    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    No harm in experimenting, says Javed Miandad

    Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad has backed the proposal to abolish toss from Test cricket.

    While Miandad said such a move would force the home team to prepare better pitches instead of focusing on preparing tracks that suit them, another former captain, Salim Malik said the International Cricket Council should not tinker with the traditions of the game.

    “I don’t see any harm in trying out this experiment of abolishing the toss,” Miandad told PTI.

    “It might ultimately lead to matches particularly Test cricket being played on good standard pitches,” he said as the ICC’s cricket committee meets in Mumbai this month to debate on whether the toss should be abolished from the game.

    The committee can only make recommendations to the ICC chief executives committee.

    Since it was disclosed that the cricket committee was considering a move to recommend abolishing the toss from cricket there has been a mixed reaction to the proposal.

    Miandad, a veteran of 124 tests and 233 ODIs, said there was no harm in the experiment to get better results.

    “Toss has always been an integral part of cricket but times are changing and one needs to try out new things to make the sport more attractive and better,” he said.

    He pointed out that in recent years home sides had resorted to preparing sub-standard and one-sided pitches to gain advantage and win matches against touring sides and this didn’t help the game.

    “In recent times we have seen Pakistan win in UAE conditions where pitches are low bounced and slow and than go and struggle in Australia or New Zealand. The answer is to ensure they are good quality pitches wherever cricket is played.”

    But Malik, who was banned for life in 2000 for match fixing, told PTI that the toss made the game more interesting.

    “It allows one to judge the wisdom and worth of a captain. Decisions made at the toss eventually shape the result of a match. Why abolish the toss why not make it mandatory to have international curators like elite panel of umpires and referees,” he said.

    He felt that the ICC should take it as a challenge to ensure all teams prepared sporting pitches that gave equal help to batsmen, bowlers.

    “Doing away with the toss or reducing Test matches to four days is not the answer. One should not tinker with the traditional spirit of cricket,” he felt.

  7. chandtara

    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    Ganguly against toss abolition in Test cricket

    Kolkata, May 21, Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Monday joined Bishan Singh Bedi and Dilip Vengsarkar in opposing the proposal to abolish the toss from Test cricket.

    Opinion has been divided among former cricketers since a newly-formed committee of the International Cricket Council (ICC), one that includes ex-international cricketers and coaches, elite panel umpires and match-referees, has mooted the idea of doing away with the toss in Test cricket.

    "It remains to be seen whether it is implemented or not. Personally, I am not in favour of toss abolition," Ganguly told reporters here.

    If toss is done away with, the game's global governing body will alter a 140-year old tradition of the game, all in the name of protecting the five-day format's following.

    The committee headed by former India captain Anil Kumble will debate whether or not the toss should be removed in an attempt to reduce home advantage held by the host team.

    This will be discussed in an ICC meeting in Mumbai later in the month.

    Asked about home advantage, Ganguly said, "If the home team loses the toss, the advantage does not stay."

    Former Australia captains Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh have backed a move to scrap the toss, while West Indies pace great Michael Holding and former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad also felt it would encourage an even contest between bat and ball.

  8. chandtara

    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    ICC opts for tradition, saves toss in Tests

    MUMBAI: Cricket’s world body on Tuesday decided against scrapping the toss in Test cricket, describing it an integral part of the game.

    The International Cricket Council was mulling doing away with the flip of the coin during the World Test Championship scheduled to start from July 2019 as part of measures to boost the flagging fortunes of the long format.

    The ICC cricket committee chaired by Indian spin legend Anil Kumble debated the toss among other issues such as player behaviour during their two-day meeting in Mumbai.

    “The committee discussed whether the toss should be automatically awarded to the visiting team but felt that it was an integral part of Test cricket which forms part of the narrative of the game,” the ICC said in a statement.

    However the committee, which includes cricketing greats like Mike Gatting, Mahela Jayawardene and David Boon, urged members to deliver quality pitches that provide a better balance between bat and ball.

    It also focused on improving player behaviour and upholding the spirit of the game which has been hit by a recent ball-tampering scandal.

    The ICC was criticised after it banned Australia skipper Steve Smith for only one Test over his role in the scandal in South Africa in March in which batsman Cameron Bancroft was caught trying to alter the ball.

    After a wave of public anger, Cricket Australia later banned Smith and his deputy David Warner for 12 months. Bancroft was given a nine-month suspension.

    “The group felt that excessive personal abuse and ball tampering were serious offences in the game and that should be reflected in the way in which they are dealt with,” Kumble was quoted as saying in the release.

    “There was also strong support for giving the match officials more authority and subsequently greater support around their decision making,” the former leg-spinner added.

    The committee has made a series of recommendations to be shared with the chief executives’ committee in June before final ratification by the ICC board.

  9. zkhan427

    zkhan427 Smooth Operator

    Oct 2, 2012
    I like the idea tbh. All we seem to see is home teams easily winning series and maybe this could give the visiting team a little boost
  10. Del

    Del Cornered Tiger

    Dec 21, 2016
    Hmm not necessarily, Pakistan outclassed ENG at Lords, and at Leed's same happened against them.

    Plus odds of winning the toss are equal, and its not like visitor wouldn't win even a single time in X number of Test.
  11. Patriot

    Patriot Kaptaan

    Oct 8, 2014
    2030 instead of toss it will be a dance off
  12. mohsin88ali

    mohsin88ali Talented

    Nov 8, 2017
    Like in the movie "Footloose".

    Sent from my QMobile i6i using Tapatalk

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